Tips for Training Arms

When it comes to increasing the size of the arms, it takes several different techniques to achieve muscle growth.

  1. Focus on intensity with supersets, drop sets, forced reps, negative reps, and rest pauses. Studies have found that these techniques increase growth hormone which in turn can initiate recovery and muscle growth.
  2. Follow a program that includes periodization, a process that uses various weight and rep ranges.
  3. Properly fuel your body to activate cell volume. Drink plenty of water, maintain a normal sodium intake, and be sure you are eating enough complex carbohydrates to maintain muscle glycogen stores. Most of us are familiar with the need to include protein in our diets.  However, a diet too low in carbohydrates can lead to decreased cell volume and muscle breakdown.
  4.  Finally, consider incorporating fascial stretching to increase muscle growth. This does not refer to conventional stretching or elongating of the muscle. Rather, it is based on stretching the muscle from the inside out through volume. This training technique was made famous by Hany Rambod and is referred to as FST-7.  Deep fascia is dense fibrous connective tissue that surrounds and penetrates muscles, bones, nerves, and blood vessels. Thinner fascia allows the muscles to expand easier and results in muscle bellies that appear to be larger and fuller than those who have thick and tough deep fascia. An example of FST-7 would be 7 sets of 10 reps on machine preacher curls separated by less than 30 seconds rest between sets.

Give this biceps and triceps workout a try. It incorporates a few of the techniques described above. These are advanced training methods. Be sure that you have built a solid base of strength before using them.

Superset #1:

  1. 21s-Barbell Bicep Curl for 3 sets: 7 bottom half curls, followed by 7 top range curls, and ending with 7 full range curls. Rest and repeat for 2 more sets
  2. Machine Tricep Dip/Pushdowns: 3 sets X 15 reps + 1 dropset (drop weight 3 to 4 times). Perform 3 sets of 12-15 reps where you pyramid the weight up each time and rest briefly between the sets. On the 4th set use the drop-set technique. Start with your heaviest weight and do as many as you can, without resting reduce weight and perform as many as you can. Repeat for 3 to 4 total drops in weight.

Superset #2:

  1. Behind the Head Bicep Curls (on the lat pull down machine): 4 sets X 12-15 reps + 1 set of rest-pause reps. Last set use rest-pause technique. Perform 6-10 reps. Release the weight and take 3 deep breaths. Perform as many reps as you can to failure. Release the weight. Take 3-5 deep breaths and finish the set.
  2. Tricep Cable Overhead Extension (with rope attachment): 4 X 12-15 reps + 1 set of rest-pause (same method as described above)

Superset #3:

  1. Machine Preacher Curl: 4 sets X 10 reps working the negative (fast up, slow down) + 10 reps regular pace
  2. Machine Tricep Extensions: 4 sets X 15 reps

Superset #4: Using FST-7

  1. Low Cable Bicep Curl (with short bar attachment): 7 sets X 12-15 reps with less than 30 seconds rest
  2. Skull Crushers (dumbbell or barbell): 7 sets X 12 reps with less than 30 seconds rest


American College of Sports Medicine. Progression models in resistance training for healthy adults. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2009;41(3):687-708.

Exercise-Induced Insulin-Like Growth Factor I System Concentrations after Training in Women
Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. 45(3):420-428, March 2013.

Twenty-Hour Growth Hormone Secretory Profiles after Aerobic and Resistance Exercise

Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. 46(10):1917-1927, October 2014  Hany Rambod: Fascia Strength Training






Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s